Dissolution is a science fiction, single-player mod for Half-Life 2 that mixes adventure and action game-play. Set in the year 2089, in a universe dominated by a mega corporate entity, Xterrier, the player awakes in a hidden lab to the voice of the mysterious Wilson. Guided by Wilson, the player must make their way through the ravaged Xterrier 581c colony, making use of any and all resources they can get their hands on in order to survive, all the while attempting to piece together the events leading to the colony's collapse and their own identity.
A noble attempt which shows plenty of effort but falls short of being good. I like that it uses plenty or custom textures to ensure it doesn't look like Half-Life but the levels were quite bland and boxy. The gameplay was doom level simple (find key card/flick switch/shoot) which is okay for some but I would prefer some thing more taxing. The Dr. Wilson voice acting was good but the rest was quite poor, for example the V/A for Monty Tallstick could not pronounce "Oblige" properly.
If there is one place this mod shines, it is in creating suspense. The sterile atmosphere and empty corridors are brilliant at freaking you out, and some of the more fantastic elements (such as the crows) can make this mod very creepy at times.
Unfortunately, Dissolution has one major problem: It's not actually that fun to play. Combat is ridiculously difficult to begin with, due to Zerg rushes from enemies and a useless pistol, before becoming comically easy once you get your hands on the shotgun. Enemy variety is nonexistent, and the only enemies you see swarm you in packs at scripted moments. The fact that the entire game was just a series of fetch quests featuring a climax ripped straight from Bioshock didn't help one bit.
That said, Dissolution is still a recommended download, if only to bear witness to the bleak level design and surprisingly good voice acting. Still, it could have been so much better.
Like farizle said "I am astounded by the fact you took on a total conversion mod by yourself, and greatly respect doing something I have been afraid of attempting myself".
Couldn't hear the audiologs well enough to catch the story but it seemed the same thing as Doom/Half Life 1/Bioshock mainly. I'm okay with that kind of story but the voices were really too low.
Needs more crows and more allucinations.
The civilians just come as pack of 12. they need too many shot to get killed for their number, I almost always ran out of rifle ammo in easy, I had to use the shotgun too but it ran rapidly out of ammo too. And that is the way it worked with Half Life 2 but we had nades, covers, the gravity gun, etc to forget about the pistol. Also I heard about guards joining the rebels but I didn't saw any of them or I didn't recognised them, wich is worse.
The level design was between bad and ok. Some places were looking like Half Life 1 but it had more variety even inside Black Mesa
The power switchs were in strange places while it should have been in special locals like a generator room, instead they where in restaurant and offices, nonsense. Also the level design wasn't really clear, I oftenly ended wondering where I was because I couldn't recognize in which sector I was. The rooms mostly looked like the other places except for the bed.
The item design isn't really good. Some are okay like the pistol but the rifle just looks like some strange kid toy. The weapons are wrong in gunplay (bit inherited for HL2). The pistol isn't really powerfull and needs a whole clip to kill someone while you can just take your shotgun and make a one shot. The fire axe model is nice but it's useless, after you've found the pistol you never use it again. Also it's animation is sucky, one slow horizontal slash and that's all.
I felt there was a lot of furniture missing. I hoped the office too looks like real offices, full of papers, boxs and such, while everything was more than clean : empty.
Some of the screenshots of this mod seemed pretty interesting, so I downloaded it, poured a cold coke in a glass and loaded up Dissolution.
The cinematic introduction (although it's a bit long and static) managed to keep me interested all the way to the end. Thank God for my long attention span and wisdom of old age. A 14 year old might have started chewing on his keyboard when he had to sit through that.
I wake up on a slab, apparently unknowing and unloved because suddenly citizens of a planetary base start attacking me. Meanwhile, this wierd voice coming from inside my head and some PDA's with audiofragments are trying to tell me what's going on. I find it hard to concentrate since the volume of the fragments is low and some guy is trying to beat me with a crowbar. While voice acting is awesome, design-wise it's clever to keep the important conversation at uneventfull parts of the game.
The mod looks pretty decent. The custom art isn't high quality but it sets the theme pretty well. Although, after a few minutes I get the idea that the maps were made with a set of only 5 textures and 5 different prefabs of rooms/corridors. Did I just pour another coke in my glass or was this also a dejavu? While some special rooms are a refreshing change, most of the maps seem very repetive. Same goes for the gameplay: get the keycard, throw the switch, get the other keycard, throw the other switch. Not many kudos for innovation there.
However, the characters were pretty well done. The main NPC's were original or had a nice twist. The mad suicidal citizens were fun to blast away and those wacky psychedelic crows, even though they seem out of place, had a way of giving you permanent migraines if you didn't get rid of them quick enough.
Overall, if you like quick run and gun action, you could rate this 8/10. If you value original storyline, innovation and pretty graphics (like me), this will not satisfy you. However, the few nice traits made me give Dissolution 6/10.